Sabian's New Logo

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Interesting about the thinning service. I recently had them thin out my Bash Ride to the thinnest spec possible last year in late November. As part of the refresh program it cost just $40 and they ship back free.
Wonder why they've decided to cut out this service suddenly?
I was in communication with them around the same time. I got super busy and then didn’t want to send cymbals around during the crazy shipping season. Evidently, they stopped the service with the new year, so anyone hoping for the service after the time goes custom shop or nothing. Major bummer. 1st world problem, but still a major bummer.
 

DenverDrummer

Junior Member
I'm sitting here trying to think of another mistake on this level in the music industry. I mean Gibson has done their best to screw up that brand but they didn't ever mess with the logo. This absolutely reeks of desperation. Did Sabian have a really bad sales year? I know instrument makers in general are having a bad go of it lately. Guitar center is facing bankruptcy, so I'm sure that's affected everyone. Sabian built their reputation as a quality company and that quality is linked to the logo. There is a classic distinctive look to the logo, a logo they have used since their inception in '81. It's unreal to me to think they just threw that out the window, to try to make themselves a hipster company that's more appealing to millennials. Robert Zildjian must have rolled over in his grave.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Cymbals are basically round disc brass colour with a hole in the middle.
The aesthetic differences will be size, hue, and the logo.
I can understand the people who say " I don't care the logo as long as it sounds the same."
Ok so a drumset ; it's only sound matter.

Imagine if, let's say, Nikon change their logo for something as cheesy as the new Sabian one ? The pictures and the cameras will be as great, won't they ? but communication wise, it will change.
 
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BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Some might say that no publicity is bad publicity, but think about it: the attention is all on the tone-deaf ad campaign and yucky logo and not the cymbals.
According to the Drum Center of Portsmouth guys, they were sayin that Sabian themselves at NAMM made things mostly about the new logo and rebranding as well. They were saying the cymbals took a back seat to that and were really disappointed in that. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Once the logo hate dies down, it will eventually, that is the point that is really concerning. When the company itself is pushing the marketing campaign so much more than the product. I think that is where you end up where a lot of other music businesses, some long-time businesses, end up in trouble. When they begin to focus and push the brand more than the product.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
Sabian: "Folks, we have a problem. We are losing more and more customers to Meinl. I wonder what they see in Meinls, do they really sound so much better? All I know is they have an ugly logo."
Advertising agency: "We know what you need. An even uglier logo."
Sabian: "Uh, OK, if you think so..."

:-D
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I wonder if after spending a ton on an ad agency for the change, they decided they had to use it but decided to only use it on the bottom of the cymbals. Just seems strange to me. And the fact that they did this, they felt necessary to talk it up at NAMM to cover embarrassment. I don't see it as a big deal and it will go away, but in the meantime it appears they have done themselves no good. I would think if they didn't like it, they would have steered away from it all together. Now where can I find one of those Ford Edsels that were so ugly??
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I wish they would have had JUST that semi circle and turned it 90 degrees. It's modern enough, an update to the old semi circle cymbal thing, and could have kept it small and tasteful.

they didn't need to change the font / SABIAN logo. However, I will keep using Sabian and the logo doesn't effect me. They still sound amazing.

In regards to the cymbal thinning service. I don't think you realize how many man hours and work goes into that process. They have to lathe it, hammer it, test it, do it over and over. I went to the "Meet the Masters" tour and had Sabian custom build me a cymbal. It was impressive but takes a long time and is all manual labor. Great dudes and hard workers.

It's the same as EVERY sports team that changes their label. 90% of the fans hate it for a bit, then half, then everyone gets used to it and it's normal. I recall the NHL team in my city catching flack for changing their logo a few times. Once again people don't like the new one. It's already grown on me.


Actually after a week even the Sabian one is not as shocking as it was.
 
I didn’t ask about that, but assuming they all now all fall under custom shop. I like tge custom shop idea, but how do I tell them I want the cymbal I have, just lower or darker. Since there’s so much inconsistency across the lines, I’m not sure how that would work. What if the custom shop cymbal didn’t turn out as expected? That’s what I would assume would happen, unless you were actually sitting with them as pro drummers do. I really wish they would have kept the service. That service was top notch.
Yeah it was really good. I was hoping to have them make me a 21" or 22" Stadium Ride this year, so I hope they'll still do that.
 
It's failing badly. Peavey no longer has the most butt-ugly logo out there lol.
There are even Facebook pages dedicated to satirizing the logo.

People more eloquent than I have said their piece, so I won't go into specifics.

Some might say that no publicity is bad publicity, but think about it: the attention is all on the tone-deaf ad campaign and yucky logo and not the cymbals.

I can't imagine them trying to force this issue. They have nothing to gain at this point. Best they run for higher ground.

I definitely want to play their new cymbals, but that logo is a non-starter and will be removed either by the store or by me, should I pick new ones up.

They're rubbing people the wrong way and should reconsider.


Dan
Yeah the logo is the main reason that I haven't pre-ordered some of the new models.

I wonder if after spending a ton on an ad agency for the change, they decided they had to use it but decided to only use it on the bottom of the cymbals. Just seems strange to me. And the fact that they did this, they felt necessary to talk it up at NAMM to cover embarrassment. I don't see it as a big deal and it will go away, but in the meantime it appears they have done themselves no good. I would think if they didn't like it, they would have steered away from it all together. Now where can I find one of those Ford Edsels that were so ugly??
No they have the logo on the top in the usual place on the AA, FRX, etc that they had at NAMM. Looks way out of place.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I think them taking away their thinning services speaks more to their struggle than their crappy new logo. Granted no other company offer this and it was likely not very profitable. That being said, it screamed we’re different and we care that you’re happy with our cymbals.

The custom shop idea is kinda cool. DW has been offering that for a while and I see people’s mistakes on Craig’s List touted as DW custom series all the time. I still think it’s way easier to order up a pancake deep drum set than discribe a cymbal sound. Mike Johnston has been struggling with a Meinl cowbell for well over a year, all of them except the last one turning out like crap. Can’t imagin how well us average Joes will do with custom cymbals.

In contrast, every time I read about someone sending a cymbal in to be reworked, they were thrilled with the results. I know I have been. It really was a differentiator for me, since it’s been pretty much a fat chance in hell for me to find anything in local stores. I live in a big market too. It’s way worse in other areas I’m sure, but maybe this is just my geek out thing.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
It's the same as EVERY sports team that changes their label. 90% of the fans hate it for a bit, then half, then everyone gets used to it and it's normal. I recall the NHL team in my city catching flack for changing their logo a few times. Once again people don't like the new one. It's already grown on me.


Actually after a week even the Sabian one is not as shocking as it was.
Sports team have engrained fan bases due to geography. Though I guess you could argue that Sabian and Zildjian do as well, due to Sabian being in Canada and Zildjian in the US. However, I do not think that is as strong as it is with sports teams.

That being said, I think what you said is probably true for the die hard Sabian fans. They will gripe about the logo for a while, talk about Sabian old logo vs new, and eventually get over it. I think where the problem lies is with those that are not die hard Sabian fans. Those that might now be looking at a Brand X vs Sabian, and now the logo is part of their consideration and they will have to ask themselves "Do I really like the sound enough to overcome the ugly logo?" While for some the question might be yes, for others it might be no or the logo will influence their sound/decision.

I think the main problem with the logo will be the people that don't even consider Sabian due to the logo. Maybe they will assume that their stuff sounds a certain way because the logo is very Metal crossed with 90s Punk. The marketing speak is all screaming, "attitude," "don't care," and all that as well. They can't afford to go with and don't even look at the Sabian higher lines that might not have the logo, so now they will look elsewhere.

All that being said, who knows what will happen? Only time will tell. Once the initial reaction dies down and Sabian is left with this new direction. It will be interesting to revisit this next NAMM and maybe 4-5 years down the road.
 

DenverDrummer

Junior Member
Drum companies off the top of my head that I can think of that "modernized" their logos: Ludwig back in the 70's (now they use both logos interchangeably), Pearl back in the 70's went to their cursive logo. Evans I think has changed their logo 3 different times, the vintage cursive font from the 60's, the round circle logo from the 80's, and now the oval logo (I guess 4 if you count the level 360 logo). In all of those cases Pearl really hadn't been around long enough for people to care all that much. I think drum head logos be it Remo, Aquarian or Evans, used to have much smaller logos on the head than they do now a day, so the change for Evans wasn't that big of a deal. Ludwig was the more radical change, but it also coincided with them purchasing the Musser mallet percussion company so they had a combined synergy with the logo change, it looked professional, and at the time more modern than their vintage logo.

I think my biggest problem with this change is the logo just doesn't look professional and the logo overwhelms the space on the cymbal. Again also I just have to ask why? Usually when a company rebrands itself it's because they are struggling in the market. I'm not aware that Sabian had been struggling, and if they hadn't it makes it even more puzzling. Sabian has always been a company that listened to it's customers so it's shocking that they are completely tone deaf when it comes to the overwhelming negative reaction to this change.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Back in the 70s all my cymbals would lose their logos after two or three cleanings. Logos weren't a big deal back then.
 
Drum companies off the top of my head that I can think of that "modernized" their logos: Ludwig back in the 70's (now they use both logos interchangeably), Pearl back in the 70's went to their cursive logo. Evans I think has changed their logo 3 different times, the vintage cursive font from the 60's, the round circle logo from the 80's, and now the oval logo (I guess 4 if you count the level 360 logo). In all of those cases Pearl really hadn't been around long enough for people to care all that much. I think drum head logos be it Remo, Aquarian or Evans, used to have much smaller logos on the head than they do now a day, so the change for Evans wasn't that big of a deal. Ludwig was the more radical change, but it also coincided with them purchasing the Musser mallet percussion company so they had a combined synergy with the logo change, it looked professional, and at the time more modern than their vintage logo.

I think my biggest problem with this change is the logo just doesn't look professional and the logo overwhelms the space on the cymbal. Again also I just have to ask why? Usually when a company rebrands itself it's because they are struggling in the market. I'm not aware that Sabian had been struggling, and if they hadn't it makes it even more puzzling. Sabian has always been a company that listened to it's customers so it's shocking that they are completely tone deaf when it comes to the overwhelming negative reaction to this change.
I liked the Evans 360 one because it was just a variation on the oval logo, so it still looked familiar and the design was good. You're right, the Sabian logo doesn't look professional and it's too big. I wish they had done something similar to Evans.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Sabian has always been a company that listened to it's customers so it's shocking that they are completely tone deaf when it comes to the overwhelming negative reaction to this change.
At this point it's too early to tell if it's tone deafness or the mindset that "well, we paid a lot of money for this marketing campaign and logo and we're damn sure going to use it."

I'm still surprised that (presumably) a room full of adults looked at all of this and said, "yep, that's the one for us!"
 

trickg

Silver Member
I think that with drums and cymbals, logos are often based on symmetry. Most logos are at least somewhat symmetrical, or at the very least, balanced.

Pearl's logo isn't exactly symmetrical, but you have a tall letter on both ends.



Zildjian's logo isn't exactly symmetrical, but you have the stems of the letters "d" and "j" extending up and down from the middle, giving it a center focal point.



Paiste's logo is mostly symmetrical



Evans logos are mostly symmetrical.



Sabian's old logos were symmetrical.



The new one is not. Say what you will, but I think symmetry matters.



The funny thing, they could use the same font, the new "cymbal" half-crescents, and even use "unbound" as part of the logo, and they could have made it a somewhat symmetrical design, which IMO, would have made it much more acceptable to what they came up with.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
I don't know if it is a symmetry/asymmetry thing. I think a lot of it is that it looks like the logo was scratched on to a desk by a Middle Schooler in the 90s.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I have to be honest, it's kind of growing on me. I only buy used these days for drums and cymbals so by the time I get my grubby mitts on one of these, the rumbling will have died down. I do suspect they'll start moving away from the 90's "edgy" add campaign though.
 

DenverDrummer

Junior Member
At this point it's too early to tell if it's tone deafness or the mindset that "well, we paid a lot of money for this marketing campaign and logo and we're damn sure going to use it."

I'm still surprised that (presumably) a room full of adults looked at all of this and said, "yep, that's the one for us!"
Yeah that's a fair point, I guess we'll sit back and see what happens. I was listening to Mark Love say something at NAMM like "it's taking me a while to get used to it..." lol well that doesn't sound encouraging.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
So what does all this mean?
It’s not just a new logo: it’s us tapping into the unbound, ‘don’t-care-what-others-think’ philosophy drummers live by.
I honestly don't know where they got this idea. If anything, drummers probably care more about what other people think than most musicians. That's why drummer forums exist in the first place, and why its members are so passionate. Everything from "which kit should I buy" to "check out my drum cover of XYZ" is based on us caring about what our peers think. Even our intense brand loyalty plays into this, as we want to be seen as a "Gretsch guy" or a "Zildjian guy" or whatever—again, tapping into what others think of us.

So to completely rebrand your company based on the thinking that drummers don't care about what others think comes across as hollow and false. I think that's a big reason why their new campaign is so off-putting (not to mention their logo is ugly as sin). It's an odd thing to hang your hat on, especially since it's so patently untrue.


I'm sitting here trying to think of another mistake on this level in the music industry.
I remember in the early 2000s, Premier drums were still doing well. They had good-looking, nice-sounding drums, and I saw them everywhere. Then they changed their distinctive hemispherical lugs to these really large, ugly, flat-sided lugs that to me was a major turnoff. Then POOF! They magically disappeared, seemingly into thin air. I don't know if those lugs were to blame (I'm sure there were other factors involved), but that's one helluva coincidence if not.
 
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